South African telecoms firm MTN Group and Nigeria’s central bank are in talks to settle an $8.1 billion dispute, their lawyers said on Tuesday, as a court in Lagos adjourned the case between the parties until Dec. 12. The dispute is over the transfer of $8.1 billion of funds which Nigeria’s central bank said the company had sent abroad in breach of foreign-exchange regulations. MTN has denied any wrongdoing.
Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, accounting for a third of the South African company’s annual core profit. The mobile phone network serves 56 million people in Nigeria. Seyi Sowemino, a lawyer representing Nigeria’s central bank, said the parties were in advanced stages towards the settlement. “We just want to cross T’s and dot I’s,” he told the court.
Wole Olanipekun, a lawyer representing MTN, also said the two parties were in talks. The lawyers requested a short adjournment for lawyers to report back to the court on the settlement talks. The judge adjourned the case to Dec. 12. Reuters